Art and Labor

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Frances K. Pohl
V&R unipress, 2005 - History - 240 pages
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The essays in Art and Labor deal with the complex relationship between art and labor-between individuals who define themselves as artists and those who define themselves as wage laborers, between visual representations of workers and workers themselves, between symbolic representations of various forms of labor and labor as it is carried out in industrial workplaces, between workers' and museum professionals' understandings of the nature of cultural production and its place within society as a whole. The authors are part of a larger community of scholars, artists and activists who are contributing to an ongoing dialogue concerning the connections between cultural and political activities, both historical and contemporary. These essays are intended to further enrich this dialogue and to encourage the emergence of new perspectives on the intersections of art and labor. They treat German artists in the DDR; a workers' education program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; themes of labor in the sculpture of the American artist David Smith; a mural for the Mexican Electrician's Syndicate by David Alfaro Siqueiros; a mural by the Los Angeles artist Judith Baca for the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles; and the work of the American photographer Sheila Pinkel addressing the labor concerns of garment workers, museum guards, and prisoners.

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